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Hill Has Empty Calendar Until November

Sep 20, 2012

This is an excerpt from Executive Insight Briefing, produced every Thursday by the National Journal’s Daily Briefings Team.

Both chambers of Congress have scrapped their October sessions, congressional leaders said, and won’t return to work until after the November elections.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor announced last week that, after the House adjourns on Friday, it will not reconvene until Nov. 13. The House had planned a one-week session in Washington at the start of October, but scrapped that plan in anticipation of the Senate’s passage of a House-passed resolution to keep the government running beyond the start of the new fiscal year.

The Senate also plans to head home this week after taking up the continuing resolution on Thursday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said early last week. As members launch the final stretches of their campaigns, the continuing resolution likely serves as the final major action until after the election.

Some members, like House Majority Whip Steny Hoyer, argue that much work remains. Cantor and Hoyer sparred last week over which party is to blame for such stalled legislation as the Farm Bill, Postal Service reform, the Violence Against Women Act, and renewing the Bush-era tax cuts. The Farm Bill in particular is the subject of dispute; the Senate has already passed its version of the legislation and is waiting on the House for action. House leadership has indicated no plans to take up a bill.

Meanwhile, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi urged Democrats to stay in Washington “as long as it takes” to pass key legislation.

Read the complete September 20, 2012, edition of Executive Insight Briefing.

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